After five decades of struggle, the Telangana factor is gathering heat among all the political parties in Andhra Pradesh. However, with the Centre bowing to the pressure due to the recent TRS agitation, Hyderabad has become a bone of contention as there is no other city in the state which is well developed and connected, be it in any of the industry verticals. As government officials put it, Hyderabad has created a mark for itself in the areas of IT and ITeS, pharma, infrastructure businesses and now it has become a ‘political business’ as well. Being the state capital, it has become a hub for above said verticals apart from housing the tinsel world and media houses too.
As KT Rama Rao, son of K Chandrasekhar Rao, puts it, Hyderabad has been the capital ever since Telangana was formed and there can be no Telangana without Hyderabad. But the other side of the coin is that it is more of giving away the cream to a newly-formed state and other regions have to start afresh. For starters, this region remained a separate state till 1956 and then it was merged with Andhra state from the Madras province to form Andhra Pradesh. Telangana region constitute 10 districts – Greater Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Warangal, Karim Nagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad and Khammam. In all probabilities, Greater Hyderabad is likely to become the capital of Telanagana, according to one voice of this region. It sends 119 legislators to the 294-member Andhra Pradesh assembly and also accounts for 17 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats from the state.
Andhra Pradesh has 23 districts, including the state capital Hyderabad, in three regions coastal Andhra (9), Rayalaseema (4) and Telangana (10). According to experts, one of the banes of Telengana is not exploiting the irrigation resources of Krishna and Godavari River. According to political experts, 69% of the catchment area of river Krishna and 79% of river Godavari are in the Telangana but still Telangana region gets less than 15% of the river waters.
While Mahbubnagar district has seen lot of migration of labour and as per government estimates, as many 12 lakh people have migrated out of Mahabubnagar due to failure of monsoon, Medak district is best known for food and fodder scarcity. So is the case with the districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Warangal have been known for their extremists influence and the effects of People’s War Group (PWG). The fight for Telangana is also a fight for monopoly over Hyderabad. Not only industrialists but also politicians stake the claim for Hyderabad as a separate entity outside Telangana.
Going back to history, it started off in the first week of 1969 when there was an agitation by the student community demanding a separate state. In the beginning it was leaderless. Madan Mohan, a lawyer, formed a forum known as the Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS) in the year 1969 who started the agitation creating lot of violence in the state. M Channa Reddy, the then chief minister, also came out in the open for a separate T-state.
In the same year, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi discussed the problem with the leaders of the Opposition in Parliament, who also apparently did not support a separate state which led to a complete law and order breakdown in the state. This led to a Presidential rule in the state 1969. However, during 1970, Indira Gandhi dissolved the Lok Sabha and announced a mid-term poll. The TPS eventually contested all the 14 seats to Parliament from Telangana and won 10 out of them. While a compromised was arrived between TPS and Congress, Indira Gandhi did not approve for a separate state.
However, the forces generated by the movement were not strong enough for a continuing the drive until 1990s when BJP promised a separate Telangana state if they came to power. But BJP could not create a separate Telangana state because of the Opposition from its coalition partner, Telugu Desam Party. These developments brought new life into the separatist Telangana movement in the year 2000.